While the federal finance minister does some quick stepping to calm fears over the federal government’s move to change tax laws for small businesses, the provincial NDP have admitted they haven’t registered any opposition to the changes.
Businesses see the legislation as doing serious damage to their finances while Ottawa wants to close loopholes and make the tax system fairer. BC Finance Minister Carol James says while the premier is at the first ministers meeting in Ottawa, he doesn’t plan on raising the issue.
Liberal Coralee Oakes, who was the minister under the Clark government for small business and red tape reduction says James is abdicating her responsibility as finance minister when she failed to raise concerns and stand up for small businesses or at least to register her concerns with her federal counterpart. Oakes claims Premier John Horgan said he didn’t see the changes coming, Oakes calls that a complete disappointment to the major job creators in this province Small businesses.
Ottawa allowed a 75 days period for public feedback that ended this past Monday. When she was pressed during question period, James confirmed no official objections have been raised with Morneau. Instead, James said the whole thing is a federal matter and Oakes should take it up with Ottawa if she feels strongly that small businesses in BC will suffer.
Oakes points out if the premier, finance minister and the jobs minister won’t stand up to Ottawa over the changes and its potential harm then, the liberals will step up and fill the gap so that Ottawa knows one side of the BC Legislature is on the side of small business and the thousands of BCer’s they employ.